GVR Report cover Europe Pharmaceutical Packaging Materials Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Europe Pharmaceutical Packaging Materials Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Product (HDPE, LDPE, PE, PP, PVC, PET), By Application (Plastic Bottles, Blister Packs), And Segment Forecasts, 2019 - 2025

  • Report ID: GVR-3-68038-878-7
  • Number of Pages: 109
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)

Industry Insights

The Europe pharmaceutical packaging materials market size was valued at USD 5.89 billion in 2018 and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 7.7% over the forecast period. Recent technological advancements, such as smart packing, are likely to drive the growth. Increasing use of environment-friendly pharmaceutical and energy saving packing products is also expected to influence the market positively.

Ongoing research and developments in recycled plastic-based pharmaceutical packaging materials are likely to boost the market growth as they offer low-cost raw materials useful for reduction in plastic pollution. Rising awareness regarding the importance of high quality packaging material for pharmaceuticals, especially during transport and storage, is expected to bode well for the market growth in the near future.

Germany pharmaceutical packaging materials market

Rising utilization of High Density Polypropylene (HDPE) in plastic bottles, caps and closures, pre-filled syringes, and ampoules application segment is anticipated to push manufacturers to backward integration in the value chain in the forthcoming years. Greater participation in the value chain is likely to result in time reduction for transforming pharmaceutical packaging materials into finished products and in gaining a cost advantage.

The material manufacturers are expanding in terms of production capacity and infrastructure with an aim to cater to the growing market requirements. Moreover, many the product manufacturing companies are using acquisition and partnership strategies for procuring raw materials. Mergers and joint ventures are an integral part of this market and allow companies to expand their market position.

Europe Pharmaceutical Packaging Materials Market Trends

Plastic bottles used in pharmaceutical packaging comprise organic materials with high molar masses composed of a long chain of monomers. The plastic bottle that is produced offers a lightweight packaging solution along with impact resistance, which reduces the transportation cost and losses due to damages during packaging.

Plastic bottles are generally used for storing liquid forms of medicines such as syrups, nasal sprays, ophthalmic, eye drops, and lotions. The plastic used in pharmaceutical packaging is chemically analyzed to ensure that the chemical composition of the medicine remains intact and does not react with bottles. The composition of packaging materials other than the chemical composition of medicines is used for producing plastic bottles to avoid chemicals reactions.

HDPE, PVC, and PP are the packaging materials commonly used to produce plastic bottles. These materials are highly durable and offer moisture resistance, which is required in pharmaceutical packaging to safely transport and store medicines.

Pharmaceutical packaging materials used for producing bottles can be molded into different sizes based on the specific dosage requirements of medicine. In order to reduce the weight of plastic bottles, many companies are using advanced technologies to reduce the number of materials required for a piece of the plastic bottle without changing its strength and chemical composition. This advantage offered by plastic bottles in pharmaceuticals is expected to drive the demand for pharmaceutical packaging materials over the forecast period.

Blister packs are widely used for the packaging of a single pharmaceutical tablet in the pharmaceutical industry. Plastic blister packaging comprises a transparent or semi-transparent front and a hard surface made of plastics or cardboard at the back. This packaging helps consumers quickly access and get a single item at a time while keeping the other dose of medicines safe. The main advantage of blister packing is that the product quality and integrity are maintained for each & every dose of medicine.

Blister packs facilitate the consumers to keep track of doses of medicine with clearly marked details and allow ease of storage for future purposes. Evidence of tampering is another major factor triggering the growth of blister packaging, as tampering with medicines can be easily monitored. Additionally, the storage and handling of the blister pack is very convenient for both commercial, and household purposes as the chances of damage are minimal.

Product Insights

In terms of revenue, Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) emerged as the second-largest product segment and accounted for 24.36% of the market share, in 2018. Its properties, such as low cost, chemical stability, flexible, durable, and resistance to chemical stress cracking among others make it suitable for various packing application.

Major applications of HDPE include plastic bottles, caps and closures, ampoules, jars, and canisters among others. Properties such as excellent resistance to solvents, high tensile strength, relative transparency, flexibility, and toughness are propelling the demand for HDPE in pharmaceutical packaging.

Polyester offers high dimensional stability, excellent chemical resistance, and high environmental stress crack resistance, thus, paving its way for use as a packing solution in pharmaceutical industry. In addition, polyester provides excellent resistance to solvents and UV protection, which is anticipated to fuel its demand over the forecast period. Moreover, rising demand for green packing is expected to create high growth potential for the product segment during the forecast period.                                         

Application Insights

Plastic bottles were the dominant application segment in the Europe pharmaceutical packaging materials market in 2018. Plastics bottles are majorly manufactured using high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) owing to their properties such as high temperature and impact resistance, excellent barrier to gas and moisture, and transparency and opacity required for the bottles.

Blister packs were the second-largest application segment in 2018. The segment is expected to witness the fastest CAGR over the forecast period. Blister packs are used for tablets, ampoules, syringes, and vials and they offer individual packing of medicine doses and keep other doses intact.

Europe pharmaceutical packaging materials market

Labels and accessories are used for displaying information pertaining to medicines. Labels are available in both semi wrap and full wrap and placed on each packaging with the name of the medicine and its manufacturer, manufacturing and expiration date, and percentage of ingredients, among other details.

Regional Insights

Research-oriented pharmaceuticals are one of the significant industry in Europe. The market for these materials in Europe has developed significantly due to the growth of medical processes through the introduction of new medicines and R&D aimed at improving the quality of life and health of patients in the region.

Pharmaceutical industry is one of the key-performing high-technology sectors in Europe. Medicines regulatory system of Europe is unique as it is based on the network of 50 regulatory authorities from the European Commission, 31 European Economic Area (EEA) countries (28 EU Member States along with Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway), and the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Primary packaging is anticipated to dominate the Europe market for pharmaceutical packaging materials over the forecast period owing to the consolidation of plastic bottles in the market. The major factor contributing to this consolidation is that plastic bottles are used in large quantities for oral drugs distributed through prescription and bulk dose volumes to mail and retail order pharmacies. Plastic bottles segment is expected to continue to grow owing to its widespread applications as containers for over-the-counter medicines sold in capsule and tablet quantities of 50 and above.

Germany dominated the Europe pharmaceutical packaging materials market and accounted for the largest revenue share of 22.06% in 2018. The domestic pharmaceutical market in Germany is characterized by the presence of major global players such as BASF, Bayer, and Hoechst, which indicates the dominance of the country in the global pharmaceutical market.

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is flexible, light, cost-effective, transparent, tough, and safe. It also requires lesser fuel to manufacture and is comparatively easier to manufacture. Moreover, PVC has good oxygen and water barrier properties. The major applications of PVC in Europe are rigid films, flexible films, and closures. The aforementioned factors make PVC a versatile and cost-efficient material for the development of pharmaceutical tablet blister packs.

The low-density polyethylene (LDPE) segment in Germany is anticipated to witness moderate growth as many inhalation drug products, particularly those marketed in a unit-dose form, are packaged in plastic containers made of LDPE. Furthermore, in recent years, LDPE has witnessed increasing utilization in other drug products such as injectable, oral solutions, and topical products. This is, in turn, expected to boost the segment growth in the near future.

The consumption of polypropylene-derived containers is on a rise in the UK pharmaceuticals packaging material market as they are considered one of the most hygienic packaging solutions for dispensing, storing, and the transportation of medical products. Polypropylene packaging used for pharmaceutical products is resistant to moisture, free of fiber, and non-porous, which prevents contamination.

France is a major player in the global vaccines market with renowned institutions, including Institut Pasteur International Network (RIIP). The aforementioned factors hold the potential to boost the use of pharmaceuticals and hence trigger the demand for pharmaceutical packaging in France in the near future.

Europe Pharmaceutical Packaging Materials Market Share Insights

Most of the key players operating in the Europe market have integrated their raw material production and distribution operations to maintain product quality and expand regional reach. The global players face intense competition from each other and regional players who have strong distribution networks and good knowledge about suppliers and regulations.

Some of the popular pharmaceutical packaging technologies mainly include anti-counterfeit and track and trace. Anti-counterfeit technology is further categorized into visible features, hidden features, and forensic markers.

Research activities focused on new materials, which combine several properties, are projected to gain wide acceptance in the market in the forthcoming years. Some of the prominent companies manufacturing pharmaceutical packaging materials include Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd., Arkema, MOL GROUP, Eastman Chemical Company, Dow, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Formosa Plastics Corporation, and Covestro AG.

Report Scope



Base year for estimation


Actual estimates/Historical data

2014 - 2017

Forecast period

2019 - 2025

Market representation

Volume in Kilotons and Revenue in USD Million & CAGR from 2019 to 2025

Regional scope


Report coverage

Volume forecast, revenue forecast, competitive landscape, growth factors and trends

Country Scope

Germany, the U.K., France, Italy, Russia

15% free customization scope (equivalent to 5 analyst working days)

If you need specific information, which is not currently within the scope of the report, we will provide it to you as a part of customization

Segments Covered in the Report

This report forecasts revenue and volume growth at regional and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2014 to 2025. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the Europe pharmaceutical packaging materials market report on the basis of product, application, and country:

  • Product Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)

    • High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)

    • Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE)

    • Polyester (PE)

    • Polypropylene (PP)

    • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

    • Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)

  • Application Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)

    • Plastic Bottles

    • Blister Packs

    • Label & Accessories

    • Caps & Closures

    • Medical Specialty Bags

    • Pre-Filled Syringes

    • Ampoules

    • Jars & Canisters

    • Others

  • Regional Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)

    • Europe

      • Germany

      • The U.K.

      • France

      • Italy

      • Russia

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